Sometimes the apple actually falls far enough from the tree to make a difference. On Monday evening one woman’s tweet about her son went viral not because of how sweet and loving it was, but because of how utterly ridiculous her claim that “He won’t go on solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind” came off to many of her fellow Twitter users. The woman–whose son is a Navy veteran–also discussed her son’s accomplishments and some of his positive traits in the tweet, ending it with #HimToo.
The absurdity of her tweet which was accompanied by a photo of her son Pieter Hanson posing in his Navy uniform, hit home for lots of people who have been grappling with Donald Trump’s suggestion that men need to fear being falsely accused of sexual misconduct as much as women need to fear actually being a victim of it. Trump’s controversial opinion seems to be shared by lots of conservative-leaning individuals, apparently including Hanson’s mother Marla who has since deleted her Twitter account, @MarlaReynoldsC3.
As a mother to a son, I myself understand the need to defend and protect the child you know you are or have raised to support, love and respect women and I can see that Hanson had good intentions, but the entire #HimToo idea is questionable at best. Any woman knows the fear of being in a situation where harassment, inappropriate behavior or rape could occur, and most of us have had to plan for and be aware of these potential situations for nearly as long as we can remember.
If men are finally feeling the need to check their behavior and be as aware of certain situations and circumstances as women have had to for pretty much all of time, it’s about time. I for one have no problem teaching my son or my daughter how to keep themselves out of potentially dangerous situations—what’s good for one is good for the other. Thankfully, the Internet appears good and ready to check anyone who thinks otherwise.
Before deleting her tweet and subsequently her entire profile Hanson received tons of hilarious, but on-point responses.
But it was Hanson’s two sons—including the one in her original tweet that really put things into perspective, so perhaps she did raise them right after all. First, her other son Jon tweeted basically summing up what everyone was already thinking:
Jon later told HuffPost, “My mom has good intentions. But she wasn’t trying to be a proxy. She’s posted on Facebook about her single eligible sons and tried to get them dates many times over the years . But she never spoke to my brother nor did he make any of those statements regarding sexual allegations.” Going on to say, “He is single. He does go on solo dates. And he’s not afraid of the current climate or sexual allegations. As his brother though I’m sure he wouldn’t mind a date out of this deep down haha.”
Late on Monday, Pieter himself actually joined Twitter for the first time to deal with the aftermath of his new Internet fame and make sure everyone knows that he doesn’t share his mom’s opinion. Then following up his first tweet with several more with the hashtag #negativeintopositives.